April 10 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Thursday 10 April '08 show

  • Article: The Popular Vote Fallacy.
  • There has been a shift in the strategy concerning the Michigan and Florida primaries by the Clinton campaign. Jon Corzine: "I'm a very aggressive supporter of Senator Clinton, I think you need, at least a popular vote".

    Jack Murtha said that Clinton "has to be ahead in the popular vote to have any chance at all of getting this nomination."

    The Democratic Party rules say it's the delegates. 40 states have released their primary or caucus results. Obama has 13,355,209 votes, Clinton has 12,638,123, so he leads by 717,086 votes. Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington don't keep popular vote counts, only the proportions in their caucuses. Obama has done well in caucus states, though the reason for this is debatable, and there are fewer voters turn up. Florida has counts, but they may not count. In Michigan, Obama's name was not on the ballot so he has zero there.

  • Thom is no longer concerned by the fight dragging on as there are lots of new registrations.
  • Bumper Music: Where's All The Freedom, Merle Haggard.
  • Bumper Music: A Country Boy Can Survive, Hank Williams Jr.
  • Article: Disenfranchising Non-Voters in Florida and Michigan?.
    "Based on record Democratic turnout in other states, the report says, Florida would have been expected to turn out an additional 1.15 voters and Michigan would have turned out another 715,000 voters. Those voters “did not participate in their primaries but likely would have had they expected their vote to count,” the study concluded."
  • Bumper Music: Me and the I.R.S., Johnny Paycheck.
  • McCain is refusing to walk away from Bush policies.
  • Current and formers members of he Bush administration are criminals against the constitution - no hyperbole. Could or should they be prosecuted for war crimes? Including John Yoo, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Don Rumsfeld.
  • Clip:
    "The latest revelations on the torture front show the memo from John Yoo...means that Don Rumsfeld, David Addington and John Yoo should not leave the United States any time soon. They will be, at some point, indicted for war crimes."
    Andrew Sullivan: Bush Administration Officials Will Be 'Indicted For War Crimes'.
  • Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, has been to France and Germany trying to get Rumsfeld arrested. Check out what they are doing.
  • Clip:
    "The discussions in the White House were top secret and sources say, involve some of the President’s most senior and influential advisors, principals of the National Security Council. In dozens of private talks and meetings, sources said that a handful of top advisors discussed specific high-value al Qaeda prisoners and exactly how those prisoners would be interrogated. Whether, for example, they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding. The discussion about the “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, sources said, the interrogations were almost choreographed, down to the number of times the CIA could use a specific tactic. Former CIA director George Tenet, in an interview last year with ABC News told Charles Gibson,

    “It was authorized. It was legal, according to the Attorney General of the United States.”

    It also was discussed and approved in meetings by the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a group that included Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, John Ashcroft.

    They Knew. ABC News segment on 5 month investigation.
  • "The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to m Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

    The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

    (a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

    (b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

    (c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

    Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

    Article 6, Charter of the International Military Tribunal - Nuremberg.
  • "The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires"
    Article 8, Charter of the International Military Tribunal - Nuremberg.
  • "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him." U.N. General Assembly Official Records, 5th Sess., Supp. No. 12 (A/1316). Principle IV.
  • Article: Could Bush Be Prosecuted for War Crimes? Monday 10 July 2006.
    "A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the 'supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation'.".
    Benjamin Ferenccz, a former chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials who successfully convicted 22 Nazi officers, said:
    The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States formulated by the United States in fact, after World War II. Its says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can't use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, 'Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they've found - then we'll figure out what we're going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq - which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.
  • Bumper Music: Pump it Up, Elvis Costello (video).
  • Clip:
    "Osama bin Laden doesn't get to decide. The American people decide. I decided the right action was in Iraq."
    George Bush, 30 September 2004.
  • Clip: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." Interview of the President by TVP, Poland , May 29, 2003.
  • Clip:
    "Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. And an al Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the late 1990s for help in acquiring poisons and gases."
    President's Radio Address, February 8, 2003.
  • Clip:
    "The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." George W. Bush, July 14, 2003.
  • Clip:
    "When we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." George W. Bush, June 18, 2002.
  • Clip:
    Q: My question is, if you are elected president, will you reject the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war?

    McCAIN: I don’t think you could make a blanket statement about pre-emptive war, because obviously, it depends on the threat that the United States of America faces.

    If someone is about to launch a weapon that would devastate America, or have the capability to do so, obviously, you would have to act immediately in defense of this nation’s national security interests.

    McCain Refuses To Reject Bush Doctrine Of Preventive War: I Can’t Make A ‘Blanket Statement’.

  • Clip:
    "You said we're headed to war in Iraq -- I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq. I'm the person who gets to decide, not you.". George W. Bush, December 31, 2002.
  • Clip:
    "I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense."
    George W. Bush, April 18, 2006.
  • Clip:
    "First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place...

    If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?

    " President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002.
  • Clip:
    "This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas...

    We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States...

    " President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002.
  • Clip:
    "Iraq sits on top of 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, very significant reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia." Vice President Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, September 14, 2003.
  • Quote: "As a matter of fact, in interviews in 1999 with respected journalist, and long time Bush family friend, Micky [David] Herskowitz, then Governor George Bush stated: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.'" Cindy Sheehan, My Testimony for the Downing Street Memo Hearings, June 16 2005.
  • Bumper Music: Cold as ice, Foreigner.
  • Introduce legislation preventing any pardon so that we can investigate next year.
  • Article: World's most expensive coffee at £50 a cup comes to British stores...and it's made from cats' droppings.
  • Bumper Music: Give a Little Bit, Supertramp.
  • Article: US business unites to fight labour reform.
    "US business leaders are ­stepping up a campaign against proposed labour law reforms, backed by the Democrats, that could significantly enhance the ability of unions to organise workers."
  • Guest: James P. Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Working Class Convoy for Change. Trade agreements. Businesses against reforms. Truckers talking about slow downs, stoppages because of the price of fuel. Teamsters are not involved. The price is being manipulated. Airlines going out of business. Truckers can't pass the increase on. He's campaigning for Obama. Independent truckers. Right to work. The Taft-Hartley Act. They just organized 10,000 UPS freight workers.
  • Guest: Madeleine Kunin, Former Governor of Vermont ('85-'91), former ambassador to Switzerland. Her new book, "PEARLS, POLITICS, AND POWER: How Women Can Win And Lead". Which is more negative in the USA, racism and misogamy, or sexism? Both are still there, but the top 2 Democratic candidates show there has been progress. Issues, not as blatant, they are different.
  • Thom's straw poll. 50 calls in 3 minutes. Obama - 42 , Hillary - 8 , McCain - 0.
  • Bumper Music: Just What I Needed, The Cars.
  • Guest: Cathy Zoi, CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection. Major new campaign. The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. In March 2006 she was profiled in Rolling Stone magazine as a global warming “Warrior and Hero”. 80% are now aware of global warming, but not what to do, how urgent. We have 7 years or so to turn it around. It is solvable. There choices for everybody at wecansolveit.org. Talk to somebody new to the subject. Ad tonight, "unlikely alliances": Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton.
  • Article: "My Answer Is No". A conversation with President Bush.. William Kristol.
  • Article: In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials.
    "In a major shift of policy, the Justice Department, once known for taking down giant corporations, including the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, has put off prosecuting more than 50 companies suspected of wrongdoing over the last three years.

    Instead, many companies, from boutique outfits to immense corporations like American Express, have avoided the cost and stigma of defending themselves against criminal charges with a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which allows the government to collect fines and appoint an outside monitor to impose internal reforms without going through a trial. In many cases, the name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are kept secret.


    More people die as a result of corporate activity than because of the actions of deranged killers or overwrought spouses. According to Corporate Crime Reporter, the FBI reported that 1998 saw about 19,000 Americans murdered at the hands of other people. But that same year 56,000 people died from work-related diseases like black lung and asbestosis -- that were unreported by the FBI -- and many times that number died from "the silent violence of pollution, contaminated food, hazardous consumer products, and hospital malpractice."

    Much of the human death caused by corporate activity has arguable benefits -- for example, the many cancers caused by compounds associated with plastics or pesticides. But the cost of these deaths isn't factored into the unit cost of the products, so there's no financial incentive for industry to develop toxin-free or toxin-reduced alternatives, or to use the more expensive but less toxic alternatives that already exist.

    And then there are the Big Mistakes.

    In 1998, one of America's largest meatpacking companies replaced a refrigeration unit on one of their processing lines. Shortly thereafter, the detectors they have in place on the line to look for deadly cold-loving bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes started to react, indicating high levels of bacterial contamination.

    The company's response was immediate. Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest told reporters Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, "Then their tests started coming up positive, so they stopped testing." This company's Fourth Amendment right to privacy blocked surprise inspections by the government.

    The detectors were apparently turned off for a full month before the Centers for Disease Control used DNA fingerprinting to track the bacteria that was causing a national outbreak of Listeria back to the plant, provoking a nationwide recall of a million pounds of product.

    But during that month, hundreds of people consuming this company's products were sickened by Listeria, and 21 humans died from it.

    The U.S. Attorney's office, according to Mokhiber and Weissman, "said there was insufficient evidence to bring a felony charge" against the company. Instead, the company paid a $200,000 fine and issued an unprecedented joint press release with the Bush administration's USDA... that managed to say that the company had paid the fine without ever mentioning the brand name of the product that had been contaminated and caused the deaths.

    Mokhiber and Weissman raised the case at the White House with Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Here's the transcript of the interaction. [1]

    QUESTION: Ari, has the President expressed a view on the death penalty for corporate criminals -- that is, revoking the charter of a corporation that has been convicted of a crime that resulted in death?

    FLEISCHER: The President does not weigh in on those matters of justice. They should not be dictated by decisions made at the White House.

    QUESTION: No, Ari, wait a second. Ari, Ari, wait a second. He's in favor of the death penalty for individuals generally. Is he in favor of the death penalty for corporations convicted of crimes that result in death?

    FLEISCHER: These are questions that are handled by officials of the Justice Department -- not by people at the White House.

    The White House hasn't commented further. And because the FBI doesn't report on such deaths, or on workplace deaths, it's hard to know how many deaths every year could have been prevented.

    Excerpt from Thom's "Unequal Protection".

    [1] Ball Park Franks Fiasco: 21 Dead, $200,000 Fine

  • Article: Waxman Issues Third Subpoena for EPA Documents.
  • Article: Up is Down, Hot Is Cold, The Constitution Means The Opposite Of What the Words Actually Say.
    "This is one of those "you just can't make up something crazier than this" moments. Any 3rd grader taking American History could do better than this. You don't need a law degree, or even a HS degree to see how wrong Yoo has gone with this one:

    John Yoo begins a paragraph (footnote 13) by quoting the section of the US Constitution that provides that Congress can "make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" to conclude at the end of his paragraph that "Any effort by Congress to use its power to make rules for the armed forces would thus be ..... unconstitutional."

  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Director of Strategic Communications at the Center for American Progress, MicCheckradio.org. Jim Morrison, "Five to One". At the Weekly Standard, William Kristol just posted a bragging piece about being at the White House yesterday at a preview of Bush's Iraq speech. At end he said it was supposed to be off the record, but Bush teared up. The Justice Department used to lead the charge in enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, etc., prosecuting people and companies. No longer. In a major shift of policy, it is making deals instead of prosecuting companies; details are hidden. Thom's story in "Unequal Protection" about a hot dog maker ignoring Listeria. Dan Quayle's making America more competitive initiative. The moustache of justice is riding again. Stephen Johnson of the EPA met with the White House before his inexplicable decision to block California's attempt to institute tough greenhouse gas limits for cars and trucks. Henry Waxman subpoena. But the DoJ is ignoring contempt of Congress citations to people ignoring subpoenas. They are trying to play out the clock until the end of this administration. Many states are suing the EPA over the decision. The EPA's Christy Todd Whitman's lie about the quality of the air at ground zero after 9/11 should be turned into a big hearing circus. A new analysis of John Yoo's memo says that he quotes the constitution that says that Congress can make rules for the government and regulation of land and naval forces, but then says it can't.
  • Bumper Music: Global Warming Blues, Lenny Solomon.
  • Upcoming Event: Apr 12 Seattle, WA. Green Festival - The World's Largest Environmental Festival. Thom's doing a Cracking The Code talk at 4pm and a book signing.
  • "The regime in Tehran also has a choice to make. It can live in peace with its neighbor, enjoy strong economic and cultural and religious ties. Or it can continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups, which are terrorizing the Iraqi people and turning them against Iran. If Iran makes the right choice, America will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq. Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests, and our troops, and our Iraqi partners."
    President Bush Discusses Iraq, April 10, 2008.
  • Quote: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." 4th Amendment.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Al Malaki disagrees with Petraeus about the delay. Bush giving speech, Rice, Cheney, Secretary of Defense there. He mentioned Iran several times. No bearing to reality. "And Prime Minister Maliki's government has launched operations in Basra that make clear a free Iraq will no longer tolerate the lawlessness by Iranian-backed militants... The regime in Tehran also has a choice to make..." Mukasey hearing, Feinstein asked about a footnote that referred to another memo about searches. He wouldn't answer the question about if that referenced memo was still in force. 4th amendment. 6 years after 9/11, how come there is no system to correct the watch list?

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